WORKSHOP RECAP: 5 Countertop Options to Know


Lonna Heshelman, Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Looking for the right natural stone countertop choice for your home remodeling or building project? With so many choices available, the best advice is to start with an introspective approach. Kicking off this year’s spring Designer On Call workshop series, ‘Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co. showroom manager, Lonna Heshelman, offered valuable tips on choosing a natural stone product that fits with your lifestyle and your personality. Yes, your personality is a great indicator of how you will tolerate living with certain natural stone surfaces in terms of their look and performance on a daily basis. There are also many alternatives to natural stone that offer pros and cons for your consideration.

“Are you a perfectionist who enjoys uniformity with little room for error? If you answered ‘yes’, then you are a perfect candidate for granite, terrazzo and quartzite. And marble it probably not for you,” said Heshelman.


Currently the most popular natural stone in the industry, granite is one of the hardest and most durable stones. It is available in a wide range of colors and can be honed, polished or given a leather finish. As a bonus, this versatile stone has little maintenance associated with it. Granite sealers have great longevity and last 20 to 25 years.

Granite countertops

Granite countertops by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


Terrazzo is a man-made material consisting of an aggregate and a base material to bind it together. Aggregates can range from marble chips, glass, recycled materials or mother-of-pearl. Once the aggregates are chosen, they are combined with an epoxy base. This results in an extremely durable, sustainable and completely customizable material. Terrazzo can be formed and used in flooring, countertops, sinks, showers, bathtubs and more.

terrazzo floor

Terrazzo is a completely customizable surface and among the most durable options, which is why you often see it in flooring and commercial applications.


Quartzite is a naturally occurring metamorphic rock originating from sandstone. Newer to the market (within the past 4 years), quartzite is very dense and has a marble-like appearance. It is a high performer in kitchen applications because of its durability, heat, scratch and stain resistance. Quartzite has natural veining making it an ideal candidate for those who love the look of marble, but demand higher performance. {Of note: quartzite is not the same as quartz. Quartz is actually a synthetic material that combines stone chips, resins and pigments and quartzite is a natual stone.}

Quartzite countertop with waterfall edge by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


A softer stone, marble is naturally prone to staining, etching and scratching. A great choice if you enjoy a patina. Marble has a classic appeal and can be honed (dull) or polished according to your preference.

“If you are not ‘Type A’, and can appreciate the look of a natural patina achieved over time, then you are a great match for marble or soapstone. These surfaces have defining characteristics for those who appreciate a timeless look”.

White marble countertop and backsplash by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.


Soapstone has a timeless look and tends to be darker in color, smooth and soft to the touch. Remember those chemistry lab tables in high school? That was soapstone and it has re-emerged as a beautiful option. Soapstone is acid-resistant and develops a natural patina over time. It can also be oiled for added protection – but it will scratch. Oiling the stone will darken the overall appearance. Soapstone blends nicely with other natural materials making it a great choice for those who want variety in their design.

Classic soapstone with white veining by Santarossa Mosaic & Tile Co.

Tip: Mix Your Materials

Lonna also shared the very latest ‘on trend’ looks in the workshop. Designers are mixing and playing with multiple textures (honed with polished surfaces, for example). Also gaining popularity are bolder colors or pops of color. Green has emerged as the color of the moment and we’re seeing more color start to win out over the ever-popular grays and whites that have dominated design projects for the past few years.

Stones and surfaces can be mixed in a space to create a beautiful and unique look. This kitchen by Santarossa shows quartzite on the island and granite on the perimeter counter and wall.

To learn more, stop into the Santarossa showroom on the first floor of the Indiana Design Center (suite 117) Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm and Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm. To schedule an appointment, call 317-580-1924.

TRENDS REPORT: Design Resolutions for 2017

With spring around the corner, it’s natural to think about the updates and tweaks that will breathe new life into your home. If you are seeking inspiration and guidance to take the first step toward a design project, this IDC trends report can help.

A carefully-embraced trend can transcend time and ensure you will not be back to the design drawing board in a year. At the IDC, showrooms and design professionals are taking note of national and international design movements via new product introductions and design markets. In the showrooms you’ll find a prevalence of mid-century-inspired designs, geometrics and calming colors.

Mid-Century Modern

As in years past, clean furniture lines continue to reign supreme and take cues from the iconic mid-century modern era of the 1950s and 60s. This mid-century look can be found in the Holder Mattress showroom which features locally-made pieces like chairs and sofas from Outré that are simple and sophisticated.

Outre Lauren chair from Holder Mattress, suite 119 at the IDC.

Geometric Patterns

The prominence of geometric patterns is being expressed in everything from furniture and fabrics to tile, lighting and artwork. Whether a geometric pattern is subtle and adds texture or is bright with bold appeal, the graphic detail provides a modern edge. In the IDC showrooms, the Coats-Wright Art & Design gallery has perfected the combination of geometrically-styled modern artwork in a classic setting. Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs also has a myriad of tile and flooring options that feature geometric patterns.

Coats Wright Art and design

“Seed Storm” Diptych, 60″x60″ by JoAnn Belson from Coats-Wright Art & Design, suite 122 at the IDC.

Multi-pattern hexagon tile from Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs, suite 124 at the IDC.

Calming Colors

While top colors for 2016 from Benjamin Moore and Sherwin-Williams were both versions of white, each color authority has amped it up for 2017, while staying in the neutral sphere. Sherwin-Williams has deemed the color Poised Taupe, a timeless neutral that is modern with a balance of warm and cool, its 2017 color of the year. Benjamin Moore introduced a moodier hue, Shadow, that is a deep, rich blend of amethyst and gray.

Poised Taupe by Sherwin-Williams.

Shadow by Benjamin Moore.

Ready to reimagine your space for 2017? Showrooms and professionals at the IDC keep their fingers on the pulse of the industry and combine to make up the best design resource across the state — all under one roof. The Indiana Design Center is open to the public and located in downtown Carmel at 200 South Rangeline Road. Visit today or call 317-569-5975 to set up your personal tour.

GREENERY: Pantone’s 2017 Color of the Year

“A New Beginning”
Reported by Tom Vriesman, Design Studio Vriesman

Renew. Refresh. Reenergize. Reinvigorate. These are all words that come to mind when one thinks of spring. The cold, gray earth begins to awaken from its slumber and life begins again as infantile shoots of green begin making their way through the earth’s crust. Ah green, it’s the color of optimism and I love it!

The Pantone Color Institute has anointed Greenery, a yellow-green shade, the color of the year. Seen on runways around the globe and furniture introductions from Milan to New York to High Point, Greenery has been creeping onto the world’s radar little by little.

So how do you integrate Greenery into your space? Reupholster a chair or two. Throw down a rug with verdant tones of green. Bring nature inside with a statement-making, large scale plant such as a fiddle leaf fig tree. Paint a room with it. Whatever the scale at which you choose to incorporate green, it will be sure to lift your spirits and give you hope for the future. Showrooms and designers at the Indiana Design Center can also help you go green this year and several examples are below.  From artwork to accessories, furniture, tile, fabrics and wallcoverings, you’re sure to find the right design elements to renew your living space. To learn more, contact Tom Vriesman, Design Studio Vriesman.

Turner wallcovering from Thibaut

Turner wallcovering from Thibaut available through a design professional at The Trade Resource, suite 225 at IDC.

Living room design by Design Studio Vriesman with green Knoll Saarinen Executive chairs.

Living room design by Design Studio Vriesman with green Knoll Saarinen Executive chairs, studio 207-C at the IDC.

Glazzio Oceania glass tile

Glazzio Oceania glass tile available at Jack Laurie Home Floor Designs, suite 124 at the IDC.

martin gallery robert park

“Prosperity” by fine art photographer, Robert Park, available at MARTIN Gallery Fine Art suite 120-B at the IDC.

BE INSPIRED: Attend Workshops hosted by Design Pros


The Indiana Design Center is pleased to announce the spring schedule of Designer On Call workshops hosted by design professionals for the public. The complimentary one-hour workshops take place on the third Tuesday of each month at 10:30 a.m. Topics range from industry trends to luxury kitchen and bath design.

Admission: The workshops are shared with the community at no charge, so attendees are kindly asked to bring a donation item for Second Helpings, an agency dedicated to fighting hunger and promoting culinary job training in greater Indianapolis. Ideal donations include pantry spices, pasta or rice.

Space is limited and reservations are required. Email or call the IDC Concierge to register at 317- 569-5975 or [email protected].


 TUESDAY, JANUARY 17 | 10:30 A.M.
Patina vs. Perfection: Natural Stone Tips, Facts & Alternatives
presented by Lonna Heshelman, Santarossa 

TUESDAY, MARCH 21 | 10:30 A.M.
Inspired Outdoor Living: Turn Your Outdoor Space into an Oasis
presented by Randy Sorrell, Surroundings by Natureworks+ 

TUESDAY, APRIL 18 | 10:30 A.M.
Master the Art of Small Space Design
presented by Dianne Wright, Coats-Wright Art & Design

TUESDAY, MAY 16 | 10:30 A.M.
From High Point to Home: 2017 Interior Trends Report
presented by Rebekah Clark, Decorating Den Interiors

TUESDAY, JUNE 20 | 10:30 A.M.
2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Trends
presented by Adam Gibson, Adam Gibson Design

All workshops are free and Open to the Public and take place at the Indiana Design Center at 200 S. Rangeline Road in Carmel, Indiana. Light refreshments are provided. Free parking is available in surface lots and the underground parking garage.

VIDEO: See Inside the Indiana Design Center

The showrooms and professionals located at the Indiana Design Center bring together a premier collection of resources and experts to help you build, remodel, or redecorate your home. The IDC is Open to the Public and showrooms feature national brands and products made locally by Indiana-based companies.

Watch the video below for a tour inside the IDC and introduction to the resources available to the public and design professionals. Call the IDC Concierge desk at 317-569-5976 to schedule your personal tour or send your questions to [email protected]. See you at the IDC!